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[sen-sawr, -ser] /ˈsɛn sɔr, -sər/
a mechanical device sensitive to light, temperature, radiation level, or the like, that transmits a signal to a measuring or control instrument.
Origin of sensor
1925-30; sense + -or2
Can be confused
censer, censor, censure, sensor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sensor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • sensor technologies are grouped into four areas: active, passive, imbedded, and processing.

    Shock and Awe Harlan K. Ullman
  • The 2d we lodged at a sensor called Assambine, eleven miles, where were only a few poor cottages.

  • Id have rote you sooner only the sensor wont let me tell where I am an I couldnt think of nothin else to say.

    "Same old Bill, eh Mable!" Edward Streeter
  • When you shot down that sensor, the starship did not retaliate, but went on without taking any notice of you.

    The Galaxy Primes Edward Elmer Smith
  • Then the CAD people added an algorithm that would take the sensor data and generate random variations on the same basis.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
British Dictionary definitions for sensor


anything, such as a photoelectric cell, that receives a signal or stimulus and responds to it
Word Origin
C19: from Latin sēnsus perceived, from sentīre to observe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sensor

1947, from an adjective (1865), a shortened form of sensory (q.v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sensor in Medicine

sensor sen·sor (sěn'sər, -sôr')

  1. A device, such as a photoelectric cell, that receives and responds to a signal or stimulus.

  2. See sense organ.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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sensor in Technology

An electronic device used to measure a physical quantity such as temperature, pressure or loudness and convert it into an electronic signal of some kind (e.g a voltage). Sensors are normally components of some larger electronic system such as a computer control and/or measurement system.
Analog sensors most often produce a voltage proportional to the measured quantity. The signal must be converted to digital form with a ADC before the CPU can process it.
Digital sensors most often use serial communication such as EIA-232 to return information directly to the controller or computer through a serial port.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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